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More People In LA County Qualify As Home Buyers

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(credit: AP)

(credit: AP)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The percentage of households that could afford to buy an entry-level home in Los Angeles County rose to 59 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, up from 57 percent in the previous quarter, and up from 53 percent during the same period a year ago.

In Orange County, the California Association of Realtors’ First Time Buyer Housing Affordability Index was 60 percent in the 2010 fourth quarter, up from 56 percent in the previous quarter and up from 53 percent in the comparable year-ago period, Los Angeles-based CAR reported Thursday.

The minimum household income needed to purchase an entry-level home at $289,330 in Los Angeles County in the 2010 fourth quarter was $44,700, based on an adjustable interest rate of 3.39 percent and assuming a 10 percent down payment. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance, was $1,490, according to CAR.

In Orange County, the entry-level home price in the fourth quarter was $408,970; the minimum required household income was $63,000; and the monthly payment was $2,100.

Statewide, the index — which CAR calls “the most fundamental measure of housing well-being for first-time buyers in the state” — stood at 69percent, compared with 64 percent for the same period in 2009.

The minimum household income needed to purchase an entry-level home at $256,220 in California in the fourth quarter of the year was $39,600, and the monthly payment was $1,320.

At 85 percent, the High Desert region was the most affordable area in the state. The San Francisco Bay region was the least affordable at 55 percent.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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